The Curious Case of The Hobbit House Manila

Quaint, unusual, and the subject of so many glowing travelers’ reviews, this J.R.R. Tolkien-fashioned watering hole-restaurant-pub-music place found on M.H. Del Pilar Street, Manila was the brainchild of Jim Turner, an ex- Peace Corps volunteer from Iowa who had this vision of creating a great business opportunity for midgets to be financially independent and free from all the social trappings of  being less than physically average-sized.

Founded sometime in the early 1970s,  its appeal to me lies much more on the fairy tale themed interior as much as  its vintage history as a hang-out for generations of artists and political activists from the martial law era, than the fact that it is entirely owned and staffed by dwarfs.

While I’m not exactly big on them (I’m a wine drinker), I do appreciate their  wide selection of European beers.

We visited on a Saturday night, before 9 pm, which might explain why we had escaped any cigarette smoking and crowding (place was practically empty save for maybe 3 other tables).

I had forgotten to ask whether the popular Filipino folk musician , Freddie Aguilar (with whom Hobbit House is very much associated), still performs here, and whether one could still partake of the pleasure of listening to his revolutionary Anak and Bayan Ko.  

Wow, that would’ve been awesome.

I wonder about those underground idealists listening to soft, gentle yet fiery acoustic folk music, fertilizing plot after plot against the then regime, feverishly dreaming of a time when our people will burn fearlessly like candles.

 Thanks for stopping by 😉

See you again,


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